Budding folk artists advised to adopt digital media

Sher Alam Shinwari

PESHAWAR: A group of artists gathered at a local hotel here on Saturday advising budding folk singers and instrumentalists to turn to social media for widening the scope of traditional Pashto music and create space for its marketability for earning livelihood to feed their families.

Depending on government or private resources would no more serve any purpose and adopting modern techniques including social media was inevitable for survival and especially the upcoming generation of vocalists and instrumentalists must learn how to market and sale their artistic skill, said the artists.

The young folk artists paid rich musical tribute to Czech-based popular folk singer, Haroon Bacha for his contribution to folk music. The budding singers sang out beautiful Pashto tapas (three liner) in the style of Haroon Bacha as he had pioneered it in the late 90s. Young folk singers including Azhar Khan, Moez Khan, Bilawal Syed, Inayatullah and Shuakat Swati performed with traditional orchestra in synch with sequential music.

Pashto music would touch new heights once the new entrants in singing availed such opportunity of a free platform where they would not only earn handsome livelihood but would also promote Pakhtun culture. Basic idea behind the move was to motivate young artists to adopt modern tools, they said.

Noted folk singer, Bakhtiar Khattak while formally launching his own YouTube channel (Latoon) pointed out that taking advantage of his long experience in the field he along with his colleagues was determined to provide a platform to young artists so that they could become self reliant and sell out their music products on the social media without investing even a penny.

He said that he had started search a month ago, for young and old artists who had never appeared on mainstream media nor they could use modern tools to market their art. Walking up to their doorsteps, he said he was able to trace out several young vocalists from different KP districts mainly from remote areas of Swat, Malakand, Mohmand and Mardan districts.

Mr. Khattak said that during working with a private channel he had introduced over 200 new and old folk artists, adding that he had made out a list of about 250 artists who no resources to produce their own music stuff on social media.

Shuakat Swati, young artist and a Ph.D student at the University of Peshawar told this scribe that an artist had to pay Rs 15,000 to 20,000 for producing one audio song while a single video song would cost him/her Rs 150,000 to 200,000 which was beyond the resources of artists, adding that the only and the best choice for the budding vocalists to bring out their talent by making use of the modern tools.

Another rising artist, Moez Khan who is quite known for singing the numbers of Ghani Khan said that efforts would be made to bring forth the talent of women singers and a mobile team well-equipped with digital studio facilities had planned to visit southern KP districts for hunting down potential artists.

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